An 11-year-old girl was riding her bike – trying to go see her sister – when she got tired and decided to take a break at a Pennsylvania gas station, authorities said.
She then walked over to a Dollar General, where she said a man offered to give her a ride to wherever she needed to go after he closed the store, according to a news release from the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office.
The Unity Township girl was last seen at about 9.30pm on Sunday, March 26, via a surveillance camera at the gas station across from the Dollar General in Youngwood Borough, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
Her family reported her missing when she didn’t come back home, police said.
State troopers and the Westmoreland County Bloodhound Team responded to the gas station, police said, and the dogs found her scent in the area.
Investigators learned the girl had an iPad with her when she vanished, and they were able to use it to track her location, according to the district attorney.
Authorities found the girl at a house in Latrobe.
The girl told police that a man – identified as Keith Lilliock, 43 – drove her to his home in South Greensburg after they left the Dollar General that evening. Security cameras show Lilliock talked with the girl for more than 20 minutes before leaving the store.
Once at his house, she said he exited the vehicle, went inside for about five minutes, then came back, according to the release. She told police he “rubbed her leg and touched her stomach area under her shirt before she asked him to take her to a friend’s house in Latrobe”.
Lilliock said he did offer the child a ride, but he denies touching her, according to state police.
“He allegedly told troopers he used to be a bad guy, but he is a born-again Christian and found Jesus,” according to the district attorney’s office.
Lilliock was arrested on charges of luring a child into a motor vehicle and interfering with custody of children, police said. Both charges are felonies.
He is being held at the Westmoreland County Prison without bond.
The girl told police she was hoping to ride her bike to see her sister in Pittsburgh, about 40 miles northwest of her hometown, according to the release. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service